Micro goals might sounds like a roundabout way of over-simplifying a seemingly easy process. But goal setting is harder for some of us than others, if you find setting (and achieving, for that matter) difficult, read on.
Even if you do set and meet most of your goals during a “normal” year, 2020 has thrown everyone’s lives askew in someway. Surely you can find a few of these simple swimming micro goals for 2021.
What exactly is a micro goal? They’re exactly what they sound like; small, simple goals that eventually contribute to a larger, more big picture goal.
For example, if you haven’t conquered a mile swim non-stop yet, you’ll first need to tackle a a 200, then a 500, then a 1000, then, before you know it, you’re rockin’ a mile!
We’ve curated a hefty list of 21 micro goals that any swimmer can use to help them take on this coming 2021 season. Check them out below!
- Add an extra 200 to the end of every workout. This might seem kind of pointless, right? How much can a measly 200 really help me in the long run? Well, even if you can only get two swims in per week, that’s an extra 400 per week, which adds up to 1600 per month and just shy of 20,000 per year! That adds up! So pick a skill you’ve been working on and end every workout of 2021 with a 200 on that skill.
- Start swimming your weak stroke. Everyone has that one stroke that just…doesn’t click. Start swimming (or kicking) that stroke a little more this year, it’s always better to have more strokes to turn to when the long-distance freestyle gets to be too much.
- Leave for the pool 10-minutes earlier. In a pre-COVID world, we’d recommend using this extra time to do some light stretching or active warm up, but we realize not everyone has the same pool/deck availability. Instead consider using this time to take the long way to pool for some extra mental prep time. A focused mind is a powerful mind.
- Kick more. Even if it’s just an extra 50 or 100 sprinkled into your workout, kick more. Your arms will thank you.
- Check your progress once a month. Just a two minute check in on the Progress tab in Swim.com’s mobile app can help give a visual perspective on your month’s work. Seeing your yardage go up can be that little extra nudge of inspiration you might need.
- Join a Swim.com Challenge. A competitive environment is healthy for all swimmers. Competition is what drives all sports, so even if you’re just competing with yourself, having that frame of reference can be super helpful.
- Keep track of your diet. A clean and healthy diet is a key aspect of any swimmer’s performance. Our friends at Swimming World Magazine have a ton of great resources for swimmers looking for healthy snacks and diet tips.
- Create some of your own workouts. Did you know Swim.com lets you hand craft your own workouts, right on your smart phone? Try Swim.com’s mobile workout builder to create the perfect workout made for you, by you.
- Share your goals and major milestones with your friends and family. This can be as simple as a group text or a social media post. Letting your friends in on your fitness goals will help them encourage you and may inspire them to join you in living a healthy lifestyle!
- Plan 15-minutes of extra sleep a night. Then 30. Sleep is the number one aspect of training ALL athletes forget about. If you don’t allow the body to recover with at least six hours of sleep, you can’t possibly train at your best. Start by adding just 15-minutes to your sleep schedule. Then add 30-minutes, then a full hour. Sooner or later (probably sooner) you’ll find yourself feeling spry and ready to take on each and every workout!
- Track your sleep using your smart watch. Many of our partners like Apple and Suunto have built-in sleep-tracking functions designed to help you keep track of how much sleep you’re probably missing out on. These features came with your watch – you paid for it, use it!
- Expand your gear bag. Okay, we know what this sounds like, a sales pitch. But trust us, having a diverse gear bag filled with the right equipment can help instrumental for training. Follow your preferences, but snag yourself a good pair of paddles if you’re a puller or a nice pair of durable fins if you’re a kick fan.
- Skip a day. You read that right, take a day off. Let yourself say no to a day every once in a while. Your body will love it.
- Drink more water. The best way to add just one cup of water a day to you diet is to pour one as soon as you wake up. Water is often the first thing our bodies need upon waking up. Reach for water, not coffee as your first cup of the day.
- Drink less coffee. We all love coffee. Most of us NEED coffee. But putting a cap on your caffeine intake can be a good approach for most swimmers. If you don’t feel like counting cups, set a time-limit on your coffee drinking. Stop drinking coffee after 2:00 or 3:00pm and see how that impacts the rest of your day – it might even make #10 a little easier too!
- Read more. We could all use a little more reading and little less scrolling. But we’re specifically talking about swim-related literature. Pick up a swimming classic like No Limits by Michael Phelps or Silver Lining by Elizabeth Beisel.
- Say thank you to your coach. Coaching is a thankless job, but, trust us, your coach will always appreciate a simple “thank you”.
- Do an extra “something” every day. Whether you a pushup lover or a squat fanatic. Take an extra couple of minutes and add on a few extra reps of your favorite movement during your workouts. They’re your favorite for a reason.
- Remind yourself you’re getting better. Take extra time to say thank you to YOU! And recognize that all the work you do is making you better. Just by showing up, you’re getting better.
- Join a club. Swim.com has hundreds of both small and large clubs. Use Swim.com’s Club Finder tool to help you find a group of like-minded swimmers to compete with!
- Have faith in that 2021 MUST be better than 2020. Decide. Decide right now that, no matter how 2020 was for you, 2021 will be better.